What they’re (really) wearing in Paris

Fashion weeks have resumed after a bumpy year and a half. New York kicked off a few days ago, and Paris has shows scheduled beginning the last week in September. It will be interesting to see whether the associated “street style” circus we’ve come to associate with Fashion Weeks will be back.

What they're wearing in Paris: jeans, jackets, dresses, sneakers.

While the outfits photographed outside of the tents and other runway show venues may be entertaining (and even occasionally inspiring), they are almost never indicative of what “civilians” in any given city are actually wearing. But a few Instagram accounts have popped up recently that provide a more realistic view.

Here are three accounts I’ve been following that are based in Paris.

@parisiensinparis is one of my favorites. They describe the outfit in the caption, show a variety of styles, and are respectful of their subjects. (I don’t know if any of these accounts obtain permission, but all take steps to preserve reasonable anonymity of their subjects.) There are a few shots of older people (would love to see more).

@paris.street.style is another account that features a nice variety of subjects and styles

I’ve followed @losangelinainparis for some time now, and find it interesting to see what details an American in Paris notices.

I’ll be watching these accounts to see the transition to fall styles in the next few weeks. Do you follow any “street style” accounts?

What they’re wearing in Paris…

Also on Instagram…

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  1. Great post! I’m going to follow these IG accounts. I have worn my Birkenstocks nonstop all summer because they are sooo comfy, but I love the street look of sneaks and casual skirts and dresses so I’m pulling my chuck taylors out of the closet today!

  2. I love following these styles; especially street styles. Thank you for the great post today. I’m trying to find the jeans in the third photo; with the Madewell plaid jacket. I assume they are also Madewell but can’t find them anywhere. Do you know? I remember when the NY transit system went on strike in the 70’s and everyone was walking to work with their sneakers and dresses and suits. I’ve loved that look ever since that time!

      1. Those balloon jeans do indeed look well made and lasting, but would really look good only on someone long and lank, like that model. I’m short and curvy (short-legged and average-bodied, not the same build as our host Susan). I have stovepipe, heavy-cotton jeans (black, of course) that aren’t “skinnies” but do fit closer than the balloon jeans.

        I’m looking for casual walking shoes that aren’t sneakers. My favourites are strappy, such as Mary Janes… Ideas?

  3. I’ve been in New York and Paris for fashion weeks and that’s when I first got a glimpse of the staged ‘street style.’ What you see are not ordinary people – these are models and fashion industry people who purposefully hang around after shows just to get their photos taken! It’s a zoo!
    Thanks for sharing these Insta accounts.

    1. Yes, that has little to do with how “normal people” of any age dress in Paris … or other cities. Sneakers aren’t very supportive for long walks.

  4. I rarely look at IG accounts or other ‘fashion week’ photos as so many seem ‘staged’. The women ( and men) always appear young and slim and look directly in the camera..as if they know what they’re doing….because…models? You rarely see anyone slouching or sitting awkwardly, even older ‘models’ are a little too put together to look ‘average’. You’re drinking coffee at a café yet your lipstick is pristine no smudge on the cup? It’s all smoke and mirrors. Fashion is not style and style is very personal…when I note that everyone is wearing the same ‘look’ that’s fashion not style. As well many IG photos are American based so taken with an American view of fashion or how they themselves would dress if they were French. I see that all the time on Pinterest pages. First most European women do not have the expansive closet space of Americans and they are not buying,buying,buying all the time. The esthetic is different overall. Be careful if you pack your bags based on these accounts you might not be too happy with your travel wardrobe when you arrive.

    1. I believe the first two accounts I mentioned are French. But sure, everyone has a subjective view of what’s considered noteworthy.

  5. I love seeing these posts! we went to Paris in 2019 and I must say I was the only person wearing a Hermes scarf. I did not see another scarf the whole 10 days.!

  6. I watch KarenBritChick on Youtube. I’m sure you know about it but she does this regular video called What is Everyone Wearing on the streets of NYC. I wish there were more street style fashion blogs or Youtubers because I love how normal people style clothing, so much more inspirational than a magazine!

  7. Interesting. I did notice in those instagram photos that it seems the people on the street are dressing casual, even the women in dresses. I also noticed that the penchant to wear sneakers is still very prevalent. When I first visited Paris 20 years ago in the summer, most people on the street were wearing sneakers or comfortable sandals, and they didn’t necessarily “match” the clothing they were wearing. It seemed that the average person on the streets were definitely into comfort, even back then. Neat, clean and comfortable seems to be the style of the day, and it doesn’t look like it is going away any time soon. Perhaps in the corporate, business or fashion world the women are a dressing in a more structured way, but not so for the average woman. I’ve since been to many other European cities/countries, and it is that way everywhere.

  8. Thanks Susan! Always appreciated. I’m going to follow these IGers too. I’ll tell you, it’s going to take a while for me to fill the ‘holes’ in my new wardrobe, now that Annie’s assessed my style and colors.

  9. Susan, great post, thank you for the suggestions I’ve added them to my Insta account. I always like looking a real people as the others have mentioned.
    It gives me the most inspiration and confidence. Looking forward to Fall and the changes it brings.

  10. Great post as usual. I’m going to Paris next month so have been watching things on you tube.
    If you pop in “what mature women are wearing in Paris August 2021” you get lots of street scenes and can see what people are actually wearing. ILoveParis is one of the best. It also lets you see the mask situation.
    Thanks for all your inspiration.

  11. I find it kind of amusing that in years past, we were told not to wear sneakers (especially white sneakers) and jeans because that is what gives away an American tourist. I guess we were fashion forward! The Parisian women are copying us. Cool!

  12. The standout for me in these accounts were no black.
    Looks like that ‘Parisian chic’ cliche has finally been outed.
    Hooray 🙂

    1. Yes, indeed. What I’ve observed is that Parisians tend to wear more black and dark colors in the winter. But, since our first visit in 2007, I think they have incorporated more color in all seasons, and head-to-toe black is no longer as ubiquitous as it once seemed.

  13. I love watching KAREN BRIT Chic when she interviews New Yorkers on what they are wearing. These are Not what every one else is wearing but very creative. Her U Tube Chanel is a kick!

  14. Thanks for these sites, I love street style. I take pics of older women when I go to Paris, and Florence. I see a lot of classic older styles of good quality on the women. Older Burberry trenches, and two piece tweed suits on Sundays. I see tights also.

  15. Fun post to read. These outfits look a great deal like what they are selling and we are wearing in the states. I have found it strange the number of sites selling what look like “little house on the Prarie dresses” flowers and puff sleeves. They are cute but not for me. I still hate the look of sneakers but have worn them while traveling where we walk for hours at a time. In Italy, you still see women in heels walking on cobblestones and riding scooters. I don’t know how they do it!!

  16. Hi Susan, I hope you and others who are heading to France have applied for the French health pass, now mandatory! Also, since the CDC has a travel alert for France, travel and health insurance while travelling there may be voided, important to check!